Niagara Foot - The innovative, low cost, energy-return prosthetic foot

Niagara Foot Technical Papers
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The NPO Fatigue Tester
Design and development of a new device for testing prosthetic feet
   Tara Ziolo, B.Sc.E, Rad Zdero, Ph.D, Tim Bryant, Ph.D, P.Eng.

Executive Summary

The ongoing problem of amputations resulting from land mines in developing and post-conflict countries such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Croatia, and Angola provides the impetus for the current study. Although the need for community based rehabilitation in these areas is recognized as advantageous, it is carried out often without the use of appropriate context-sensitive prosthetic technology.

To this end, the overall purpose of the present ongoing investigation is the development of a lower limb prosthetic system - starting with the foot - that is affordable for the target population, highly functional, esthetically and culturally acceptable to users, and scientifically validated through a series of clinical, field, and laboratory studies.

Briefly, this document outlines the scientific work done to date in the development of the Niagara Foot, provides a literature survey of previous mechanical cyclic fatigue testers for assessing prosthetic feet, describes the design and development of the current NPO Fatigue Tester, discusses the preliminary test results for Niagara and SACH feet using the this tester, and gives consideration to future work.

This work is being done by the Human Mobility Research Centre (Kingston General Hospital and Queen’s University, Kingston, ON) in conjunction with Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics (St. Catharines, ON).


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